Midwives for Afghanistan

By Faisal Haidari

It was certainly not an easy time for our graduates. For two years, they left their villages and families to attend the Cap-Anamur-Midwives-School in Herat for an intensive training. Finally, they have accomplished it: in July, 44 young women received their exam-certificates at a large graduation ceremony. Many of their families have undertaken the arduous journey from their remote home villages to celebrate the success with their daughters together.

Schükriye Sharifi from Ghozare was particularly pleased with her graduation, since she was the best of her class. Karime Mohammadi also received a special award: she did not miss a single day of the theory instructions or the practical exercises.

They can now proudly return to their homes as state-approved midwives and apply their valuable skills. During the two years of training, the students have been confronted with many complicated cases, assisted in countless births and gained a lot of experience. Thus, they are well equipped to provide vital services in their home villages. Afghanistan still has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. We hope that the qualified work of the young midwives will contribute to a reduction of this rate in the long term.

The Cap Anamur team is happy to contribute to improving the quality of life of the Afghan people with this project. The sustainable effect of our operations is always important to us. As part of our long-term commitment in Afghanistan – whether it is in Kunduz, Takhar or in the province of Herat – we have created lasting structures with the help of the local population. Our schools and hospitals are still operating; the staff trained by us is still on duty.

A few weeks ago, I met the photographer Jürgen Escher at an official Cap Anamur event. Since the foundation of Cap Anamur, he has photographed the Cap Anamur projects and areas of application. When I asked him, which of the many countries had impressed him the most, he spontaneously replied: “Afghanistan! In the faces of the Afghans you can discover the whole world”. As for myself, Afghanistan is also a very special country. The diversity of the people and their different cultures are an enrichment for all of us. The diligence and the liveliness of the Afghans inspire us again and again. It is not without reason that we have already set the course for the next midwife training.

We would like to thank everyone who made this wonderful project possible. In addition to the Herat Ministry of Health, the Maternity Hospital, the Institute IHS, the teachers and trainers and in particular our local staff member Najibullah Aimac, with his tireless effort, have made a significant contribution to the success of the training program. Of course, we would also like to thank all the Germans who supported Cap Anamur with their donations and thereby have laid the financial foundation for the project.

We wish our graduates much success and fun in their new profession. As participants in a project that will act as a prototype, they are not alone in their commitment. In a few weeks’ time, 40 more women will complete our parallel implemented nursing training to become Community Health Nurses. They will also return to their homes after graduation to empower Afghanistan’s health care.

Faisal Haidari

Cap Anamur has built 35 schools and six hospitals and health centers in Afghanistan over the past 11 years. The man who has accompanied almost all these projects is Faisal Haidari. The German-Afghane lives with his family in Germany, but regularly travels to Afghanistan for Cap Anamur.